LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Southwestern trailed at halftime but turned things around in the second half to defeat Occidental 57-51 on Sunday.
A shaky start to the game gave way to a run that put Southwestern up by seven, 20-13, with just under nine minutes to play in the first half. Occidental had the response, however, as they closed out the half on a 19-6 run to send the Pirates into the locker room down six, 32-26.
Cara Sheffer's three opened the second half for SU and allowed the Pirates to start a run that handed the lead back to Southwestern, 35-34, on another Sheffer bucket with 15:40 on the clock.
Occidental snatched the lead right back with a three from Tiffany Kho and set the tone for the dogfight that would be the remainder of the game.
With six minutes to play Southwestern saw themselves down five, 45-40, but once again Sheffer was there to ignite the Pirates with a three pointer. Eight points in the final six minutes from Sheffer alone was the jolt SU needed to close out the game for the 57-51win.
Sheffer ended with 14 points for SU while Jordan Owens led all scorers with 23 points on 10-16 shooting. Occidental was led by Elizabeth Messick's 14 points. The Pirates shot 39% from the floor as a team and held Occidental to 34.4%, 17.6% from three point range. Southwestern was also +12 in rebounds, led by Chelsea Leeder's 10.
The win improves SU to 3-8 overall while Occidental falls to 6-4. Southwestern returns home for their next game, kicking off 2014 against former SCAC opponent Millsaps at 5:30 pm.